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Biden says ‘we must not allow this pain to destroy us’ of violence in U.S. cities

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is seen at War Memorial Plaza during Memorial Day, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Castle, Delaware, U.S. May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

BY TREVOR HUNNICUTT

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday called for protesters against police brutality not to turn to violence as unrest flared in U.S. cities overnight.

Biden issued a statement just after midnight as protesters in several major U.S. cities vented outrage at the death of George Floyd, a black man, shown on video gasping for breath as a white Minneapolis policeman, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck.

“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary,” Biden said in the emailed statement. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not.”

He added: “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us.”

Biden’s remarks echoed a statement on Saturday by prominent black civil rights activist and U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

Lewis, who in 1965 was beaten unconscious by Alabama state troopers during a march for voting rights, called for protesters to “be constructive, not destructive,” though he said he knows their pain.

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